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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Jul 3, 2020

In this week’s episode, Dan Neumann is joined by frequent guest of the show, Quincy Jordan principal transformation consultant and agile competency lead at AgileThought! Together, they are exploring COVID-19 as an agile accelerator.


In the agile space, there has been a long-time myth that face-to-face is synonymous with colocation and that you cannot have effective agile teams if they are not colocated. However, in the past year or so, many companies have been beginning to consider going to a hybrid remote model. But, when COVID-19 hit, their 12-month transition plans quickly became one-week transition plans. And though this has been very difficult for many, this acceleration due to COVID-19 has actually been a good thing in many cases — which is what Dan and Quincy will be talking about today!


They discuss which types of things got accelerated, beliefs about agility that got challenged due to COVID-19, what the ‘new normal’ post-COVID-19 may look like, and how these changes will be made to be sustainable going forward.


Key Takeaways

Beliefs about agility that got challenged due to COVID-19:

Those people in the agile space that were especially adamant that you cannot have effective agile teams that are remote were shown that it was possible 

Some people believed that doing training in a distributed way would bring the quality down — however, the quality of training that is being delivered has not gone down since going remote

What COVID-19 has accelerated:

When pressed, many people are able to do very impressive things and accomplish more than they thought possible

It accelerated ingenuity and creativity

It accelerated the decisions to collaborate with one another as teammates and to quickly come together on a situation to figure out the most effective solution

It helped accelerate clarity on what was truly important to accomplish

It has driven companies to really start embracing business agility a lot more

Agility went from a concept that companies only thought about to a concrete concept that they embraced

Organizations have been focusing on value more due to embracing the agile mindset (and COVID-19 has been pushing this to further bounds)

It has helped push organizations to further their alignment on business agility and focus on the problems that need to be solved

COVID-19 has also accelerated businesses beyond those in software (it permeated into all facets)

Challenges regarding COVID-19 and the acceleration it has brought:

How do we maintain alignment between business and IT in this remote world? (How often do we need to meet? What do we need to be aligned on?)

Video conference fatigue

How do we ensure that the right problems are being solved, that the vision is clear, that the business objectives at hand are clear, and that the teams know how to tie their work to meaningful outcomes for the business?

People don’t adapt as fast as technology

What might the new ‘new normal’ look like post-COVID-19?

There most likely will be more remote work and more emphasis on collaborating remotely

There may be a bigger demand for remote tools (such as digital whiteboards) and they will become even more efficient going forward

People will most likely be more intentional about how they are showing up to video conferences with clearer goals in mind


Mentioned in this Episode:

From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver,
by Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby

The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success, by Kevin Hart


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